Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how project partners respond to contractually agreed collaboration in an infrastructural megaproject. Problematic performances of megaprojects have shifted away attention from the instrumental towards the interpretative, focusing on daily work life, practices, power, ambiguity and sense making in project organizations. Such an interpretative perspective helps to better understand practices of collaboration in complex mega projects, which the authors studied in the Panama Canal Expansion Program (PCEP). Design/methodology/approach – Given the focus on daily work life, the authors chose an in‐depth single case study. Practices of collaboration have been studied during a one‐year ethnographic fieldwork period in Panama, in which the daily work life of project participants was intensely observed. Findings – First, it was found that practices of collaboration in complex projects change in periods of conflict. In these periods actors are forced to reflect upon their practices and to negotiate about new practices. Second, the authors identified collaborative practices in which a consultancy firm teaches their client and supervises its appropriate behavior. The authors have labeled these as chaperoning . Practical implications – This study illustrates that when innovation in contracts requires an innovative relationship between project partners, specific attention to this innovation and the related practices of collaboration enhances the collaborative relationship among partners, which can prevent cost overruns and delays. Originality/value – Ethnographic fieldwork has not been used frequently to study project management practices. The paper builds upon a one‐year ethnographic fieldwork period to study practices in the daily work life of the project participants from “within”.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 15, 2012
Keywords: Panama; Project management; Canals; Civil engineering; Collaboration; Practices; Megaprojects; Partnering; Project culture
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera